Irene’s boys are her foundation and she loves them enough to protect them from the dangers of what the world has to offer. As a housewife, her responsibility is caring for both her husband and children and she took that job seriously, due to not having anything else to fall back on. In the quote, she cries to her husband Brian that she cares enormously about the happiness of her children. Children in the novel, especially Irene’s are treated differently than how Clare treats her child. The novel shows how essential children are to their parents and how each one treats them differently. Clare, for example, is portrayed or discussed much in the novel, but Irene’s children are brought up many times, to show how she cares for them very much. She goes on to explain that the future happiness of her children are substantial to her because it is a result or reflection of how good of a mother she was. Nella Larsen shows in her novel that children are a critical part of their mother’s life because it is her duty as a parent to protect, love and secure her children so that she can prepare them for a happy future.